Vitamin K1 enhances sorafenib-induced growth inhibition and apoptosis of human malignant glioma cells by blocking the Raf/MEK/ERK pathway

Wei Du, Jing-ru Zhou, Dong-liang Wang, Kai Gong, Qing-jun Zhang
World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2012, 10: 60

BACKGROUND: The combined effects of anticancer drugs with nutritional factors against tumor cells have been reported previously. This study characterized the efficacy and possible mechanisms of the combination of sorafenib and vitamin K1 (VK1) on glioma cell lines.

METHODS: We examined the effects of sorafenib, VK1 or their combination on the proliferation and apoptosis of human malignant glioma cell lines (BT325 and U251) by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, flow cytometry and 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) assay. The signaling pathway changes were detected by western blotting.

RESULTS: Sorafenib, as a single agent, showed antitumor activity in a dose-dependent manner in glioma cells, but the effects were more pronounced when used in combination with VK1 treatment. Sorafenib in combination with VK1 treatment produced marked potentiation of growth inhibition and apoptosis, and reduced expression of phospho-mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) and phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). Furthermore, the expression levels of antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 were significantly reduced.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicated that VK1 enhanced the cytotoxicity effect of sorafenib through inhibiting the Raf/MEK/ERK signaling pathway in glioma cells, and suggested that sorafenib in combination with VK1 maybe a new therapeutic option for patients with gliomas.

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